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Women, Trauma and PTSD

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Women in the military are at high risk for exposure to traumatic events (combat and sexual assault), especially during times of war.

Dawne Vogt, PhD, National Center for PTSD

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

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Trauma is common in women; five out of ten women experience a traumatic event. Women tend to experience different traumas then men. While both men and women report the same symptoms of PTSD (hyperarousal, reexperiencing, avoidance, and numbing), some symptoms are more common for women or men.

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Most early information on trauma and PTSD came from studies of male veterans mostly Vietnam veterans. Researchers began to study the effects of sexual assault and found that women's reactions were similar to male combat veterans. Women's experiences of trauma can also cause PTSD. This finding led to more research on women's exposure to trauma and PTSD.

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Action Alert: Stop the Funding for the Afghan War--Call your Congressional Representative today!

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  • If our elected officials always believe that no matter how far to the right they move we will always be giving them our money and our votes becasue we fear something worse on the right, they have zero incentive to take our peace, justice, love, generosity and environmental sanity messages seriously. We need to let them know that these positions of ours are not just "preferences," but rather they are our bottom line and that we won't support those who support war, militarism, injustice, and a worldview of domination and power over others, even if they tell us that deep in their hearts they believe something quite different.
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  • Will House Democrats Oppose a Jobless War Supplemental?
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  • Six Facts No War Supporter Knows
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Rabbi Michael Lerner, The Network of Spiritual Progressives

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Will Shapira

U.S. intervention in Afghanistan is facing increasing challenge, and this week's dramatic Wikileaks revelations -- the biggest U.S. war expose since Dan Ellsberg's Pentagon papers -- make it all the more difficult for Congress to keep funding this horrific war. It is an important moment for all of us who want immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to raise our voices.

It looks like there will be an up-and-down House vote this week on the Afghan war supplemental funding. The Senate has stripped the bill of all unrelated issues such as funding for teachers, so the meaning of the vote will be clear: there will be no excuses for voting "Yes" or abstaining (not that such excuses were ever legitimate.)

This is a crucial time to insist that your member of Congress vote NO on war funding! You can reach your representative through the Congressional switchboard 1-888-493-5443 toll-free. If you use this number, it will add to the Friends Committee on National Legislation's (FCNL) count of how many people called Congress against the war supplemental, so your call will be tallied in two places. (If by chance you don't know who your member of Congress is, you can find out at the FCNL website:http://capwiz.com/fconl/directory/congdir.tt)

The Network of Spiritual Progressives is joining with the Campaign for Peace and Democracy,  United for Peace and Justice, Peace Action, CODEPINK, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Peace and Justice Resource Center, Historians Against the War, Just Foreign Policy and Progressive Democrats of America in this effort to rally support for a "NO" vote. If you can, please send us a brief email at info@spiritualprogressives.org to let us know that you've made your call.

Our message is simple: Vote no on funding this escalation of war, regardless of whether it's a procedural vote, and regardless of any good measures attached to it. Our phone calls this week won't turn the situation around overnight. It will take massive and sustained street demonstrations, civil disobedience, teach-ins around the country, and other mobilizations to accomplish that. But a strong "NO" vote now will strengthen anti-war sentiment in and out of Congress, and will help build the mass anti-war demonstrations that are planned for October.

(Photo: The U.S. Army; Edited: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t)

If our elected officials always believe that no matter how far to the right they move we will always be giving them our money and our votes becasue we fear something worse on the right, they have zero incentive to take our peace, justice, love, generosity and environmental sanity messages seriously. We need to let them know that these positions of ours are not just "preferences," but rather they are our bottom line and that we won't support those who support war, militarism, injustice, and a worldview of domination and power over others, even if they tell us that deep in their hearts they believe something quite different. It's not their hearts but their votes that we are looking at--we don't assess whether they are good people or not, leave that to God. What we care about is whether they use their power of office (and this goes for Obama as well) to support the values we hold, and if not, they should not count on our support. Please help us get this message to your elected representatives and to your local and national media.

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Will House Democrats Oppose a Jobless War Supplemental? Robert Naiman, t r u t h o u t
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Will Shapira
The war supplemental for Afghanistan is expected to  come back from the Senate to the House this week (July 25-31) - without any kind of  timetable for military withdrawal from Afghanistan, and without money to  save teachers' jobs attached.

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Six Facts No War Supporter Knows, David Swanson, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)

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  • No one who supports (The Afghan war) can be aware of any of the following six facts.
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  • Secret files show true Afghanistan war
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Six Facts No War Supporter Knows

No one who supports (The Afghan war) can be aware of any of the following six facts.
Secret files show true Afghanistan war

David Swanson, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

1. For many months, probably years, at least the second largest and probably the largest source of revenue for the Taliban has been U.S. taxpayers. We are giving the Taliban our money instead of investing it in useful things at home or abroad. Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan, is a report from the Majority Staff of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives. The report documents payoffs to the Taliban for safe passage of U.S. goods, payoffs very likely greater than the Taliban's profits from opium, its other big money maker. And this is neither new nor unknown to top U.S. officials. But it must be unknown to Americans supporting the war. You can't support a war where you're funding both sides unless you want both sides to lose. We lock people away for giving a pair of socks to the enemy, while our own government serves as chief financial sponsor.

2. Our top consumer of oil is the U.S. military. We don't just fight wars in areas of the globe that are coincidentally rich in oil, but fighting those wars is the single biggest way in which we burn oil. We pollute the air in the process of poisoning the earth with all variety of weaponry. According to the 2007 CIA World Fact Book, when oil consumption is broken down per capita, the U.S. military ranks fourth in the world, behind just three actual nations. There's no way to care about the environment while allowing the money that could create renewable energy to be spent instead on an operation whose destructiveness is rivaled only by BP. We could have 20 green energy jobs at $50 K each for what it costs to send one soldier to Afghanistan. We're fighting wars for the fuel to fight wars, even though the process is eating up the funds we could use to try to survive its side-effects.

3. Over half of every U.S. tax dollar is spent on wars, the military, and payments on debt for past wars and military spending. Here's a pie chart that breaks it down for you. If you're concerned about government spending, you can't just be concerned with the minority of it that is carefully funded with taxes and off-setting cuts elsewhere. You have to also consider the single biggest item, the one that takes up a majority of the budget, large chunks of which are routinely funded off the books, borrowed from China, and passed with so-called "emergency supplemental" bills of the sort now before the House of Representatives, the sole purpose of which is to keep the money outside the budget. Numerous economic studies have shown that investing in the military, even at home, does less for the economy than tax cuts, which do less for the economy than investing in education, energy, infrastructure, and other areas. Its wars or jobs, we can't have both. The labor movement has mostly (with some good exceptions) been silent on war spending, in part because jobs spending has been packaged into the same bill. Now it's not. Now the House is confronted with a bill that spends on war the money that is needed for jobs, for housing, for schools, for green energy, for retirement. Will advocates of these raise their voices this week?

4. A leading, and probably the leading, cause of death in the U.S. military is suicide. U.S. troops are killing themselves in record numbers. One central reason for this is likely that these troops have no idea what it is they are risking their lives, and taking others' lives, for. Can we expect them to know, when top officials in Washington don't? When the President's special representative to Afghanistan testified in the Senate recently, senators from both parties asked him repeatedly what the goal was, what success would look like, for what purpose the war went on. Richard Holbrooke had no answers. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told the Los Angeles Times: "A lot of folks on both sides of the aisle think this effort is adrift. A lot of folks you'd consider the strongest hawks in the country are scratching their heads in concern." Corker complained that after listening for 90 minutes to Holbrooke he had "no earthly idea what our objectives are on the civilian front. So far, this has been an incredible waste of time."

5. The $33 billion about to be voted on cannot possibly be needed to continue the war in Afghanistan, because it is exclusively to be used for escalating that war. The President was publicly pressured by his generals several months ago to begin an escalation, but Congress has yet to fund it. To the extent that it has been begun unfunded, it can be undone. CNN reports: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned senators in June that military operations will need to be reduced for the rest of the year unless Congress approves additional funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." This is nonsense. If this escalation funding were blocked, the war would remain at the level it was at before. And that's if the Pentagon respects the authority of the Congress. The other alternative, openly indicated by Gates, is that the Pentagon will fund the escalation out of its standard budget. Congressman Alan Grayson has a bill called "The War Is Making You Poor Act" which would require that wars be funded out of the military budget, which would eliminate federal taxes on the first $35,000 anyone earned and reduce the national debt. How horrible would that be?

6. War would be the greatest evil on earth even if it were free. Watch this new video of a man whose father was shot and killed while sleeping in bed. More of our tax dollars at work. How many of these stories of what our military does can we write off? Our drones kill both civilians and "insurgents," as do our night raids and check points. Or, maybe not the check points. General Stanley McChrystal said that of the amazing number of people we've killed at check points, none of them have been any threat. And the damage lasts in the places we destroy. Look at this new report on the damage done to the children of Fallujah. This is not because U.S. soldiers aren't brave or their parents didn't raise them well. It's because these wars don't involve pairs of armies on battlefields. We're occupying countries where the enemies look like everyone except us.

Well, maybe our representatives know all of this and still fund wars because people who fund them tell them to. But what can we do about it? We vote whenever there's an election, or at least some of us do. Isn't that our role? What does this have to do with elections? It should have everything to do with them. When we call our congress members this week we should not just ask them to vote No on war money, we should demand it, and we should let them know that we will work to unelect them, even replacing them with someone worse (since you can't get much worse), if they vote for this money. And we should spend August rewarding and punishing accordingly. Here are 88 candidates for Congress this year who have committed to not voting a dime for these wars. They are from every party and political inclination. They should be supported.

If this war funding can be blocked for another week it will be blocked until mid-September and perhaps for good. If we can get closer to doing that than we have before, we will have something to build on. Just holding a straightforward vote in which war opponents vote No and war supporters vote Yes, no matter how close or far we are from winning, will identify who needs to keep their job and who doesn't. If most of the Yes votes are Republican, we will be able to confront the President with the opposition of his own party. We're moving toward peace.

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Secret files show true Afghanistan war, the New York Times | NY

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  • A six-year archive of classified military documents released Sunday (July 25) by an Internet organization called WikiLeaks offers an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the Afghanistan war that in many respects is more grim than the official portrayal.
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  • Afghanistan: The War Logs
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Get resources from http://defundwar.org

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FCNL has a toll-free number to call your representative: 1-888-493-5443. Use it.

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Secret files show true Afghanistan war

    \r\n
  • A six-year archive of classified military documents released Sunday (July 25) by an Internet organization called WikiLeaks offers an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the Afghanistan war that in many respects is more grim than the official portrayal.
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  • Afghanistan: The War Logs
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  • Six Facts No War Supporter Knows
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The New York Times

Accidents are tied to drones such as this MQ-9 Reaper, with laser-guided munitions and Hellfire missiles. LTC Leslie Pratt / USAF/NYT

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A six-year archive of classified military documents made public Sunday offers an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the Afghanistan war that in many respects is more grim than the official portrayal.

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The secret documents, released by an Internet organization called WikiLeaks, are a daily diary of an American-led force often starved for resources and attention as it struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated and more deadly each year.
The New York Times, the British newspaper The Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel were given access to the voluminous records weeks ago on the condition that they not report on the material before Sunday (July 25).

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Afghanistan: The War Logs, The Guardian | UK
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle
Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation

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Six Facts No War Supporter Knows, David Swanson, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)

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  • No one who supports (The Afghan war) can be aware of any of the following six facts.
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  • Secret files show true Afghanistan war
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